Historic Ogden: Exploring The Forbidden Parts Of Union Station

Historic Ogden:  Exploring The Forbidden Parts Of Union Station

Recently, the Union Station Foundation reached out and invited me on a tour of the Union Station building.  The building is the cap to Historic 25th Street and since I have been there many times, I didn’t think there was too much to see that I hadn’t seen already.  Well, on this trip they had a special surprise.




As a quick review, the current Union Station building was rebuilt quickly after the Victorian version burned in 1923.  Reconstruction began in April 1924 and the building was opened in November of that same year.  For a 40,000 SQFT buildling, that is a breakneck pace of construction.  However, given the huge demand for the facility (there were five railroad companies that used the station) such speed was understandable.





I also learned on my visit that the murals that adorn the main waiting area of the building were painted by the same man that painted the murals that adorn Ellis Island in New York.  While the work at Ellis Island was commissioned in the 1930’s,  the artist painted these murals in the 1980’s to punctuate his career.

After reviewing the records archives, I was taken to the basement to view some of the hidden gems being stored and unappreciated.  We descended into the vaults:




Here is a portion of reclaimed flooring that had the Browning name done in mosaic tile.


An interesting hammer and tools used in the railroad industry.




A slightly oversized wrench.


…and some really old antiques.

I was also given a chance to view the old foundations and other systems.  The space was creepy but endearing:




Here an old belt-driven blower the size of my car moves cool outdoor air into the buildling above.



Finally, here are a couple support pillars in the basement.  One is freestanding and the other is embedded in a rock wall.  Both appear to be made of sandstone. These are the pillars that supported the original building constructed in 1888.  They are still serving their purpose today.




A special thanks to Charles Trentelman for hosting me on a deep dive into Ogden history.